Health Risks On Construction Sites

No doubt, construction is one of the most constructive businesses in the economy--pun completely intended. With more and more modern infrastructure being conceptualized and executed, it is up to construction companies to deliver.

There is a dizzying amount of things involved in construction, from the main building to the finishing touches. There is also a lot of equipment to consider--from industrial drills and welders to crawler crane parts, mobile crane parts, wrecking balls, and the multitude of small parts. Indeed, working in construction can be exciting.

However, working in construction also has its risks. If construction workers do not comply with health codes or safety codes, they can put their lives at risk, whether for the short-term or long-term. It’s very important to be aware of these risks so that measures can be taken to avoid them and avoid subsequent hardships due to the effects of the job. Among the known health risks on construction sites are the following:

Skin diseases. Handling rough materials, unpredictable weather and handling chemicals or dangerous substances can all harm the skin. While construction workers are required to wear gloves, they can sometimes trap dirt against the skin.

Hearing problems. Machinery used on construction sites can often be loud to the point of hazardous. While workers take care to wear specially-designed ear muffs or ear protectors, it cannot be helped sometimes. The noise can come from either the machine being operated, or from background noise of other operations.

Back Pain and musculoskeletal disorders. Back problems are mainly caused by work in extreme postures often in confined spaces, which are unavoidable on construction sites. Another cause is manual handling or carrying of heavy loads. Even improper handling of small loads can cause injuries. Other musculoskeletal disorders, injuries to muscles, nerves, tendons and joints, may be caused by physically too demanding work.

Exposure to hazardous substances. In construction, many useful but potentially dangerous substances are used. The effects when exposed to them can range anywhere from simple dizziness to life-threatening cancer. Various solvents used in paints, varnishes, adhesives and resins can cause asthma or dermatitis after prolonged exposure. Welding fumes are also particularly dangerous. Dust is another problem--but construction sites are rife with them.

Stress. As with any kind of work or career, there are some stressful situations that could arise from them. Noise, dirt, dust, chemicals, work at heights, confined spaces, heavy work, and the climate contribute to stress. Overtime is common during good weather, and meeting deadlines can also lead to stress.